Frequently Asked Questions


Is there a deadline to have my thesis reviewed and submitted?

Yes, there are four deadlines you must meet each quarter, which are posted on the Deadlines page.

Are there any forms that I need to turn in?

Yes, one form is required. The GS-13 (approval form) is the approval page for your thesis or dissertation. You must obtain the signatures of all members of your Committee, as well as your department chair(s), division chair, or school director. You may download the GS-13 form on the Submission page.


How do I request a preliminary review?

To request a preliminary review during weeks 1–4, send an email to the Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer assigned to your department, as listed on the Review page. Starting in week 4, you may schedule appointments online. Reviewers may be available on a drop-in basis during their posted office hours, but we strongly recommend that you schedule an appointment ahead of time.

Will the Reviewer read my thesis?

No, the Reviewer will not read the content of your thesis. The Reviewer will check the format only (spacing, headings, pagination, references, etc.). Only your Committee will comment on the content. If you seek additional feedback on your writing, we encourage you to meet with one of our consultants in the Graduate Writing Studio

How long will it take to have my document reviewed?

Anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for a printed copy and about 45 minutes for an electronic copy. 

I emailed my Reviewer last night but I still haven't heard from them.

Please allow three (3) business days for a reply to emails. If you have requested a preliminary review via email, it may take your Reviewer as many as five (5) business days to reply. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you schedule an in-person meeting for your preliminary review.

Additional Assistance

Where can I get help using Microsoft Word? is a good resource that provides instructional videos about Microsoft Word and other applications.

Who can help me with writing and checking grammar?

The Graduate Resource Center now employs graduate students as Writing Consultants, whose services are provided to Cal State LA graduate students at no cost. While they may answer questions about grammatical issues, our Writing Consultants are more concerned with the structure and content of your writing. However, many students have hired an editor or proofreader to assist with the thesis or dissertation. This would be an out-of-pocket expense for the student. Contact Andrea Gutierrez for a list of recommended editors.

Enrollment, Registration, Grades & Graduation

Do I have to be enrolled when I turn in my thesis/dissertation?

Yes, you must be enrolled or you will not receive credit for your work. At minimum, candidates must enroll in thesis/dissertation units (courses numbered 597, 599, 699, or 900) in the term in which they complete the thesis/dissertation. Usually, 900-numbered courses bear no credit, but candidates will nonetheless pay a fee. Only candidates who have lost matriculation status may enroll in units via Extended Education. Please consult with the Cashier's Office for more information regarding fees.

Do I have to apply for graduation to turn in a thesis/dissertation?

If you expect to graduate at the end of the term in which you complete the thesis/dissertation, you must apply for graduation one quarter prior to the anticipated graduation date. Some departments require candidates to complete the thesis/dissertation several quarters prior to graduation; in this case, candidates need not apply for graduation until the appropriate time.


How do I convert my file to PDF?

ProQuest provides a helpful tutorial about PDF conversion on their website.

How do I submit in the electronic file of my thesis/dissertation?

You will submit your electronic file online using the ETD Administrator. Your Thesis/Dissertation Reviewer will do one final review once you have uploaded the thesis to this site and may contact you to recommend additional edits.

How do I turn in a CD or DVD that accompanies my thesis/project report?

Cal State LA does not accept music, videos, and other multimedia via the ETD Administrator. Instead, submit one copy to the Thesis Reviewer along with the required approval and agreement forms. Printed labels and cases are required, as detailed in the Thesis Guide and on the Submission page. CDs and DVDs will be housed in the Special Collections of the Library.


Are there any other fees required to turn in a thesis/dissertation?

None of the services provided by the Graduate Resource Center, Writing Consultants, or Thesis/Dissertation Reviewers require additional fees. However, students may opt to pay out of pocket for several optional services, such as the Open Access Publishing PLUS option via ProQuest, copyright registration via ProQuest, hardbound copies of the thesis or dissertation, and copyediting or proofreading. The Graduation Office charges required fees for the graduation check and diploma.

Publishing & Hardbound Copies

Do I have to submit a bound copy of my thesis/dissertation to the Library?

As of Fall 2011, candidates are no longer required to submit a bound copy of the thesis or dissertation to the Library. Only the electronic submission is required.

How do I order print copies of my thesis/dissertation?

You have the option to order bound copies of your thesis or dissertation via the ETD Administrator either during or after you have completed the submission process; additional information may be found on the ETD Administrator FAQ page or in the email you receive from ProQuest one your thesis or dissertation is accepted.

If you wish to change your order after you have submitted the thesis or dissertation, you may do so by contacting ProQuest/UMI support. All orders and payments are made directly to ProQuest/UMI.

Candidates may also opt to have their theses and dissertations bound locally by Bella Printing Services in Glendale.

How long does it take to receive bound copies?

The Library delivers thesis files to ProQuest/UMI approximately 2–4 weeks after the final deadline of each quarter. Once ProQuest/UMI receives the files, it takes another 8–12 weeks to bind and mail copies. For additional information regarding bound copies via ProQuest/UMI, students may contact ProQuest Customer Service at (800) 521-0600 x77020.